Friday 20 May 2022

What is masturbation?

All of my furious fapping for Masturbation Month got me wondering, what actually counts as masturbation?

If you've been following me for any length of time, you will have surely noticed that I am a big fan of Lovense sex toys. Even for any first time readers out there who are visiting me for the very first time, I think the big banner at the top of the page is a pretty big give away as well.

But should any self-pleasure sessions where I use any of my toys count towards by fap total for the month? This is what I found myself pondering when I was tallying up my number of faps for week 2 of my Masturbation Month challenge.

My personal view has always been that the use of sex toys still constitutes masturbation. At the end of the day, it is the self-pleasuring part that is the crucial factor. Not how you choose to actually do it.

The question is, does my own personal definition of what is and isn't masturbation fit with what the experts say? I thought that the only way to solve this quandary would be to pull out a few dictionaries and see how they define it. It seems that they don't all agree though! Let's see what they say...

"If someone masturbates, they stroke or rub their own genitals in order to get sexual pleasure."

"The act of touching or rubbing your sexual organs in order to give yourself sexual pleasure."

"Erotic stimulation especially of one's own genital organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, occasionally by sexual fantasies, or by various combinations of these agencies."

"Physical self-stimulation of the genitalia in order to produce sexual pleasure, often resulting in orgasm."

So, as you can see, the Collins Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary are quite strict in limiting masturbation to touching yourself via rubbing and stroking.

Merriam-Webster, on the other hand, is far more all-encompassing and allows for all sorts of acts to be included under the masturbation umbrella. It even explicitly states that stimulation via sex toys (a much simpler translation for "instrumental manipulation") is a form of masturbation

And the Oxford English Dictionary seems to choose be vague about it. Whilst I reckon it implies that the stimulation comes from touching yourself, it does not categorically rule out the possibility that the physical self-stimulation could come from you manipulating a sex toy. 

I think the take away here is that these dictionary definitions tend to lean more towards the view that masturbation is simply performed with your own body and not with the aid of external items.

But perhaps we should take these definitions with a pinch of salt? For instance, should we question how contemporary these definitions are? It could be that they were they conceived at a time when sex toy use was not as prevalent as it is today.

""Masturbation is more than physical exploration, its mental. Think you've grown feelings for someone or have an amazing idea? Rub one out and clear your mind of the fog, your true feelings will be relieved."

My dictionary knowledge is not sufficient to say whether any of these definitions are more relevant in contemporary society than the others or how diligent each dictionary is when it comes to modernising or updating definitions to better fit the current times.

I will say, and this is purely coincidence, that I have a pre-conceived notion that the Merriam-Webster is a more modern feeling dictionary than the others which all have a very old-fashioned feel to them. If that is a fair assessment (a big if), then it is no surprise that Merriam-Webster is the one that gives a definition which is by far the most comprehensive and considers elements which older definition may not.

However, even the Merriam-Webster definition leaves me with questions. Where do we draw the line with toys that can be controlled remotely? If a partner is vibing one of my Lovense toys that I am wearing, is that still masturbation? It seems like it could be considered long-distance sex instead because I'm not the one controlling the pleasure. But if we are controlling each other's toys, could it be argued that it is actually mutual masturbation? Oh, jeez that's another can of worms that I don't even want to get into right now...

Instead, I think I'm just going to stick with my original gut feeling that masturbation is simply the act of stimulating your genitals for self-pleasure. How you deliver that stimulation to yourself is entirely up to you.

And for that reason, I will continue to include getting myself off with my sex toys in my Masturbation Month grand total!

""Don't ever hesitate to treat yourself to an amazing self-love session whenever you feel that urge 💋bzzz ✋💦"
Reena Rain

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